On November 15, 2014, Tacoma, Washington, will be abuzz as Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) reaches the culmination of a four-year journey including an expansion and gift of one of the top Western American art collections in the country.
The museum’s “Go West” adventure began with a conversation between Director Stephanie Stebich and John Barline, a representative for German supermarket magnate Erivan Haub and his wife Helga, who donated 295 works from their family's Western American art collection to TAM. Today, the museum stands transformed with 16,000 dazzling new square feet and four spacious galleries showcasing this internationally recognized collection, most of which has never before been on public view.
“In 2011 we began the journey that led to this unprecedented gift from the Haub family. Tacoma Art Museum has been a cultural anchor in the city since 1935, and this is one of the most outstanding moments in those 79 years,” says Stebich of TAM’s elegant new galleries and the Haub Family Collection.
An official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 am on November 15 marks the opening of the doors to the new galleries and the inaugural exhibition. Art of the American West: The Haub Family Collection at Tacoma Art Museum, on view November 15, 2014—November, 2015, presents premier examples of Western American art. The Haub collection is among the top 12 in the United States in this genre. Tacoma Art Museum is the only museum in the region featuring a Western American art collection of this caliber.
There will be 133 of the 295 works from the collection on view, exploring themes of the West through time, resources and the changing environment, and action and storytelling. Works from the collection span more than 200 years, from Gilbert Stuart’s Portrait of George Washington, circa 1797 through today, including work by contemporary and Native American artists. Some of the well-recognized artists among the collection are Thomas Hart Benton, Albert Bierstadt, Karl Bodmer, George Catlin, Charles Bird King, Thomas Moran, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Bill Schenck.
Tacoma Art Museum also offers a full catalogue of the Haub Family Collection, co-published by Yale University Press and featuring essays by leading scholars in the field.
.The art and architecture connect the history of the West with today’s Tacoma. With an expansion designed by Olson Kundig Architects in Seattle, this is Tom Kundig’s first completed museum design, and was completed on time and on budget by Sellen Construction.